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Hirono Applauds Biden Administration Rulemaking to Protect Reproductive Health Information

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and lead Senate sponsor of the Secure Access for Essential Reproductive (SAFER) Health Act, applauded the Biden Administration’s proposed rule strengthening Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protections for reproductive health information.

“Since the Supreme Court’s disastrous Dobbs decision, Republicans across the country have been working obsessively to outlaw and criminalize abortion nationwide,” said Senator Hirono. “No one should face the risk of prosecution for accessing fundamental reproductive health care, and protecting patients’ reproductive health information is essential to ensuring they don’t. That’s why I introduced the SAFER Health Act earlier this year and why I’ve called on the Biden Administration to use all available resources to protect patients’ private information. I’m glad to see them heeding that call today. This proposed rulemaking will provide people across our country with the peace of mind that their health information will not be used against them, regardless of the state they live in. I’ll continue fighting to protect patients and defend the reproductive freedom of every person in our country.”

In February, Senator Hirono introduced the Secure Access for Essential Reproductive (SAFER) Health Act, legislation that would expand patient privacy protections by strengthening HIPAA to prohibit medical providers from disclosing personal health information related to abortion or pregnancy loss without patient consent. She also sent a letter to President Biden with 11 of her Senate Democratic colleagues urging the Administration to take new steps to protect reproductive freedom amidst divided control of Congress and increasing efforts to restrict access to abortion, including “issuing new regulations to strengthen HIPAA to ensure that data cannot be shared with law enforcement and used to criminalize abortion providers or patients, and to ensure robust enforcement of the law.”